Amp wiring dilemma...

NBPK402

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I have Icepower mono amps for the compression drivers, andI I have some Ampcamp ACA Monos that I would like to use for serious listening. how can I do this without manually pulling the cables and swapping every time? All inputs are balanced XLRs.

This is to drive the same compression drivers in the same speakers, but with a different amp depending on use. So I have 2 different amps for each compression driver, and need to be able to select which amp I want to use for the speaker on the fly.
 
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ddude003

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If you’re wanting to use two different amplifiers (or front-end electronics) on the same speaker, it doesn’t matter what kind of inputs the electronics have.

What you need is a 2-way speaker switch box. Typically these are for connecting two pairs of speakers to a single amplifier, but could easily be used for your application by wiring it backwards.

The problem with these devices for your application is that they typically just don’t switch between A and B. They also have provisions to run A + B. So if you aren't careful you could easily end up with both amps connected to the speakers at the same time. I’ve always heard that something like that will toast an amplifier – or two amps in this case.

Regards,
Wayne
 

NBPK402

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If you’re wanting to use two different amplifiers (or front-end electronics) on the same speaker, it doesn’t matter what kind of inputs the electronics have.

What you need is a 2-way speaker switch box. Typically these are for connecting two pairs of speakers to a single amplifier, but could easily be used for your application by wiring it backwards.

The problem with these devices for your application is that they typically just don’t switch between A and B. They also have provisions to run A + B. So if you aren't careful you could easily end up with both amps connected to the speakers at the same time. I’ve always heard that something like that will toast an amplifier – or two amps in this case.

Regards,
Wayne
Thats what I am worried about.

So the safest way would be to build a box that had a A/B switch on the front that would turn the amp on or off and switch the speaker out. I would need 2 of them too, unless I had them switch as a pair. I am thinking it would need to be a mechanical switch so there is no chance of failure.

How do they do it in HIFI stores where they can switch the source and speakers?
 
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NBPK402

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This one here has a link to a DIY version that appears to do just what I want... I am assuming it would be ok to just split the XLR inputs, so each amp would have the same source. The one thing missing is to have only the amp I want turned on that I want to uee. I guess I can use my Insteon outlets and turn both off, switch, and then turn on the appropriate amps.


I am going to track down the Mouser switch, and order 3 of them. I also will order 18 Banana jacks to do 3 channels.
 
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NBPK402

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Thanks, I already ordered 3 of the switches to make 3 amp switchers. I am debating on ordering 3 more switched to turn select which amp is on or off now too.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Thanks, I already ordered 3 of the switches to make 3 amp switchers. I am debating on ordering 3 more switched to turn select which amp is on or off now too.
When buying switches to switch among amp outputs, check to see if your amps will tolerate common ground and, also, if the switch has isolated-vs.-switched ground wiring.
 

NBPK402

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When buying switches to switch among amp outputs, check to see if your amps will tolerate common ground and, also, if the switch has isolated-vs.-switched ground wiring.
These are the 2 amps I am using...
Pass Ampcamp ACA, and Icepower 50ASX2BTL
The switches I got are the https://www.mouser.mx/ProductDetail/633-S42

Do you know if these will work?

Ampcamp
[/URL]

Icepower
 
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NBPK402

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I was thinking about what you said and it occurred to me that you might not know the amp switcher is switching speaker outputs, not interconnects, plus both the positive and negatives are being switched...no common grounds involved.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I was thinking about what you said and it occurred to me that you might not know the amp switcher is switching speaker outputs, not interconnects, plus both the positive and negatives are being switched...no common grounds involved.
Not all such "packaged" switches actually switch both (+) and (-) leads; some simply shunt all the (-) lines. Not good for some amps.
 

NBPK402

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These switches are the ones that were recommended, and they said they were switching both the (+) and (-)..so I am asuming I will be fine.

Here is the way they wire them. I will only be wiring 1 channel per amp, per switch as I will have 3 of these...one for left, one for center, and 1 for right.
47418
 
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Kal Rubinson

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These switches are the ones that were recommended, and they said they were switching both the (+) and (-)..so I am asuming I will be fine.

Here is the way they wire them. I will only be wiring 1 channel per amp, per switch as I will have 3 of these...one for left, one for center, and 1 for right.
View attachment 47418
As long as these are Make-Before-Break, they will be fine. I was talking about packaged commercial switch boxes.
 

NBPK402

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Mine are break before make...
Break-Before-Make: A switch that is configured to break (open) the first set of contacts before engaging (closing) the new contacts. This prevents the momentary connection of the old and new signal paths.

I am assuming this is to prevent problems with the signal if switching with power on, correct? I intend to always switch with both amps off.
 

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MontanaPhil

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I just logged in to post here, Tim above beat me to the punch. I absolutely agree with his recommendation, I have used this item to switch on-the-fly two amps, one class D and 1 push-pull tube, to the mid and high horns on my Speakerlab K's. Your amps are both solid-state, so should be no problem, but you must maintain a load on a tube amp, and this switch Tim links to does that, none of the other options do. Good luck, and great choice of amps your'e using !
 

NBPK402

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I agree, but some times the amps do not like the way the switches work...hence why I ask questions to make sure I do what I can to reduce the probability of have a amp problem with the switch. I also like to make my own design of equipment, and reuse parts I already have (I currently have custom wood horn speakers, and a Plex/Roon Rock Media server I am building too). Today I ordered some more Banana Jacks, and Banana plugs for cabling, and silicone half sphere feet. I also picked up some 1/4" Maple wood for front and rear plates (I have them ready for drilling holes for all the pieces when they arrive), and I will be using some Black anodized aluminum cases I have that I never used. I will have about $150 outlay of cash to make 3 of these...not a lot of money, and it gives me something to do, in my retired life.
 

NBPK402

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I just logged in to post here, Tim above beat me to the punch. I absolutely agree with his recommendation, I have used this item to switch on-the-fly two amps, one class D and 1 push-pull tube, to the mid and high horns on my Speakerlab K's. Your amps are both solid-state, so should be no problem, but you must maintain a load on a tube amp, and this switch Tim links to does that, none of the other options do. Good luck, and great choice of amps your'e using !
Thanks, I was mainly worried about damaging my class A amps... Did you build your Speakerlab Ks? I remember years ago seeing them advertised in Magazines, but never got around to buying or making any. I remember the Speakerlabs were supposed to be the poor mans Khorns, and every once in a while I see a pair for sale. How do you like them? What drivers do you use? are you using passive crossovers or digital active ones?
 

NBPK402

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Everybody says that. :rubeyes:
The biggest pain to turn on and off is my center channel amps as they are behind my TV.

I saw one video where a guy installed 12v relays and they would turn on the amp, and switch the amp switcher to the correct amp when the AVR was turned on. I like the idea, but he was using 2 AVRs, and I am using 1 preamp (currently), so that would not work. If down the road I get a dedicated stereo preamp for my system... I might pursue modding my amp switcher or power amps for 12v turn on/off.
 

NBPK402

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A little progress... I have the rear p.ares made out of wood, and 2 of rhe front plates made out of wood (I still need to drill the hole for the toggle switch and wir after sanding and finishing the wood). I am planning to make it look nicer by using the aluminum front plate and inlay 1/4" wood (same as the wood already used for the 2 fronts and all the rears). I will inlay the recessed area on the left and right of rhe aluminum front plate, and also the center where the recessed groove and circle are. By doing it this way I can eliminate the visual impact of the toggle nut and threads. I hope to have the front plates done sometime this month or early January (I am waiting on a 3rd front plate and case to arrive. I am also going to use the new case to replace 2 of rhe scratched top pieces on the ones I have already). I also am planning of modifying all of my DIY amps, and Lan case.
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I am also planning on recessing the allen holes as soon as I get my new bits in.
 
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